…was wait almost 17 hours in line for an iPhone 4. That’s right, 17 hours. I’m not proud of it.
It started when my girlfriend, Anne, and I arrived at Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton at 5am. By then there were hundreds of people already lined up in the brisk morning. We made out way to the back of the pack, excited to get into the mall and out of the cold at 6. Spirits were high as we entered the mall early at 5:45. We were out of the cold and the Apple store would be opening in about an hour. I thought to myself, “Oh we should be outta here by 9 or 10.”
We did. Just 9:30 at night.
After the fifth hour of waiting, it wasn’t for the phone any more. I started to suffer from sunk-cost fallacy (credit to Daniel Chu for enlightening me on this term).
“I’ve gone too far to give up, I have to see this through!” I thought to myself.
Though waiting for the iPhone on launch day is definitely an experience, it’s an experience that I only want to have once. While in line, my body was put to the test of not moving for an extended period of time and I also started to lose my mind. Though there were people around me to interact with I never felt so alone. All we could talk about was how ridiculous the line was and to speculate about what was holding everyone up. After a few hours, their voices droned on like bees (or vuvuzelas) and I began ignoring them.
Sitting in the same place for hours had a strange effect on my mind. It was like being imprisoned. I couldn’t get up to do what I wanted and fighting boredom took all of my energy. I even started to experience Stockholm Syndrome when Apple employees started handing out food and water to people waiting in line.
“That’s so nice of them,” I thought to myself until I was slapped back into reality by the fact that I wouldn’t be in line in the first place if it wasn’t for them taking so long. I became bitter and resentful.
Armed with my G1, iPod Touch, and my Kindle, I fought a long war with boredom. Slowly but surely, each gadget began to die. My G1 went first. Communication lines went down with it. My iPod was used for games but kept crashing because iOS4 is horrendous on it. The only thing left standing was my Kindle. I read iWoz and other books to keep me entertained and resorted to the crappy browser to catch up on the news and text via Google Voice. The Kindle saved my life.
But not as much as having Anne there. I must acknowledge her help in getting me this God forsaken phone and for keeping my sanity. People said she was crazy for waiting in line with me when she wasn’t even going to get an iPhone herself when in truth we were the crazy ones. We waited in line for 17 hours for an inanimate object, a piece of technology that will be obsolete in the coming months. She waited in line because she wanted the man she loves to have some company. That’s love. That’s humanity. I was the crazy one that day.
So was the 17 hour long wait for the iPhone 4 worth it?
No. Hell no. The Apple Kool-Aid tastes good but it’s a little too sweet and there’s a weird aftertaste of cyanide.